Media Advisories

Portland Goes Conflict-Free

Date: 
Aug 26, 2015

 

Purchasing Policy to Support Peace in Congo

August 26, 2015 (Portland, Oregon) – Activists and policymakers are celebrating the Portland City Council’s vote today to enact a policy to ensure that cellular devices and other key communication equipment purchased by the city are not connected to killing, child abductions, or sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The result of over two years of campaigning by local activists led by the Oregon Coalition for Humanity, and an international campaign spearheaded by the Enough Project’s Conflict-Free Cities and Conflict-Free Campus Initiative  the city’s new procurement policy requires that the makers of cellular devices and radio subscriber units to be used by the city be surveyed to determine possible connections to illegal mining and smuggling in eastern Congo by violent armed groups. The policy then states that information will be used to support purchasing products made with conflict-free minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rachel Finn, Advocacy Manager for the Enough Project, said: "As one of the few cities worldwide to change its procurement policy to favor companies working to make their products conflict-free and support the livelihoods of Congolese miners and their communities, Portland has proven itself a leader in the larger movement to support peace in eastern Congo. Thanks to the hard work of local activists led by the Oregon Coalition for Humanity, as well as the dedication of many Portland City government workers over the last two years, the city has passed a strong, socially responsible resolution."

Amanda R. Ulrich, Campaign Director for Portland’s Conflict-Free City Initiative, Oregon Coalition for Humanity, said: "When we realized we are connected to the suffering of the people in eastern Congo through the products our city purchases, it was a shock. But that recognition also led us to see a way to play a positive role. Portland is a place of integrity and humanity. Today, all the people of Portland should feel proud, and congratulate our City Council for doing the right thing."

Annie CallawaySenior Advocacy Associate at the Enough Project, said: "The City Council's resolution requests documentation on conflict minerals policies from manufacturers of key electronics products and the city will use that information to inform its purchasing decisions. Today, Portland has leveraged its consumer power as a force for peace, justice, and transparency."

Portland’s annual expenditure that will now be affected by the new “conflict-free” policy varies, according to estimates by city officials, and has in recent years ranged from $426,000 (Fiscal Year 2012/2013) to $11.4 million (Fiscal Year 2013/2014).

The new policy in Portland builds on the momentum of an international movement that has seen 19 schools, five cities, and two states enact similar “conflict-free” procurement rules. 

Link to the text of the Portland City Council’s new conflict-free policy
http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?c=50265&a=542373

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

About THE CONFLICT-FREE CITIES and CONFLICT-FREE CAMPUS INITIATIVE
Initiatives of the Enough Project’s “Raise Hope for Congo” campaign, the Conflict-Free Cities and Conflict-Free Campus Initiative (CFCI) draw on the power of student leadership and activism to help support peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. By encouraging university officials, local governments, and other stakeholders - large purchasers of electronics and powerful spokespersons - to commit to measures that pressure electronics companies to responsibly invest in the minerals sector, consumers are voicing the demand for conflict-free products from Congo. Comprehensive reform is needed in Congo for sustainable peace - now is the time is for activists to lead the conflict-free movement. Join us: www.raisehopeforcongo.org/campus  or www.raisehopeforcongo.org/content/conflict-free-cities

Enough Project Welcomes South Sudan Peace Agreement, Warns of Challenges Ahead

Date: 
Aug 26, 2015

 

International Pressures Key to Compromise Deal and Successful Implementation, Say Experts

August 26, 2015 – In a statement published today, the Enough Project welcomed the signing by the President of South Sudan of a peace agreement to end the civil war that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths since the conflict began in December 2013.

The Enough Project lauded newly unified efforts and pressure by regional leaders and the international community, including direct engagement by U.S. President Obama, as President Salva Kiir added his signature today to a compromise peace deal signed last week by opposition leader Riek Machar. The statement also warned of ongoing challenges, offering recommendations for implementation in support of a sustainable peace for the world’s newest nation.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: "Concerted pressure from neighboring governments and the broader international community has been instrumental in convincing the government to sign after missing the August 17 deadline. President Obama’s direct engagement with regional leaders during his trip to Africa in late July was essential in cultivating what had been missing so far in the negotiations -- international leverage aimed at pressuring the warring parties towards peace.”

Justine Fleischner, Enough Project Policy Analyst, said: “The compromise agreement does not resolve the multiple crises facing South Sudan on issues of governance, security, accountability, and economic development, but rather provides a starting point for the parties to come back together and get down to the business of rebuilding their war-torn nation. Only by putting the interests of their people ahead of their own self-interests may peace prevail in South Sudan.”

Lindsey Hutchison, Enough Project Policy Analyst, detailed ongoing challenges: “Both sides contain hardline factions and interests that openly oppose the signing of the compromise agreement and continue to benefit financially from the misery of the South Sudanese people. There will be winners and losers as a result of this deal, and the losers could very well attempt to undermine the agreement, potentially through further violence."

"The successful implementation of the agreement also depends largely on ending impunity for economic and atrocity crimes. The U.S., UK, and other partners should pursue global efforts to trace, seize, freeze, and return the proceeds of corruption back to the people of South Sudan,” said Prendergast, adding, “Those that profit from the war should not be able to do so with impunity, even if a peace agreement is signed.”

Read the full Enough Project statement below:

Enough Project Statement on the Signing of the South Sudan Peace Agreement  

August 26, 2015 - The Enough Project welcomes the decision by the Government of South Sudan and President Salva Kiir to sign the compromise peace agreement, adding his signature to that of armed opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar and other stakeholders, to hopefully bring their country’s brutal civil war to an end. Concerted pressure from neighboring governments and the broader international community -- including the circulation of a UN Security Council draft resolution by the United States focused on potential high-level targeted sanctions and an arms embargo -- has been instrumental in convincing the government to sign after missing the August 17 deadline. President Obama’s direct engagement with regional leaders during his trip to Africa in late July was essential in cultivating what had been missing so far in the negotiations: international leverage aimed at pressuring the warring parties toward peace.

Nevertheless, the challenges of implementing the agreement far exceed the challenges of negotiating one. Both sides contain hardline factions and interests that openly oppose the signing of the compromise agreement and continue to benefit financially from the misery of the South Sudanese people. Provisions for economic transparency and accountability contained in the agreement directly threaten the kleptocratic system of governance, the entrenched patronage networks, and the opaque business transactions that have provided the warring parties with the funds necessary to sustain the war effort on the ground.  There will be winners and losers as a result of this deal, and the losers could very well attempt to undermine the agreement, potentially through further violence.   

In order to ensure the agreement is signed in good faith and implemented accordingly, the regional and international communities must maintain their diplomatic and financial pressure on both sides, including the credible threat of targeted sanctions and other diplomatic and financial measures. Steps must be taken to ensure potential spoilers are denied access to material and financial support in the region, including those that have recently defected from the armed opposition and have based themselves in Khartoum. Uganda must also withdraw its troops based on the timetable outlined in the agreement. The U.N. Security Council should urgently adopt a global arms embargo to stem the flow of weapons and ammunition to the rival parties and allow for the imposition of secondary sanctions designations against those that facilitate arms transfers and profit directly from the civil war. Regional enforcement is key and should be closely monitored by the UN Panel of Experts.

The successful implementation of the agreement also depends largely on ending impunity for economic and atrocity crimes. International support for the South Sudan-African Union hybrid court should include legal and investigative teams with experience in prosecuting economic crimes, including pillage and grand corruption. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative should investigate instances of grand corruption focusing on assets, properties, and businesses in the United States. The United States, United Kingdom, and other partners should pursue global efforts to trace, seize, freeze, and return the proceeds of corruption back to the people of South Sudan. For their part, Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia should share intelligence through the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network for Eastern Africa. Efforts to improve their compliance with international financial, legal, and regulatory regimes would increase donor and investor confidence as well.

Finally, South Sudan’s leaders must be accountable to the people of South Sudan. Civil society groups’ participation at the peace process was often drowned out by the demands of the warring parties. Donors must redouble their efforts to amplify the voices of South Sudanese through public opinion polling, support for free media, and assistance to campaigns for financial transparency and accountability based on South Sudan’s existing public disclosure laws. Space for civil society participation during the transition and protections for journalists should be made preconditions for the resumption of normal donor activities.

South Sudan has once again been devastated by war; this time a tragic conflict between the very elites that fought for their nation’s independence. The compromise agreement does not resolve the multiple crises facing South Sudan on issues of governance, security, accountability, and economic development, but rather provides a starting point for the parties to come back together and get down to the business of rebuilding their war-torn nation. Only by putting the interests of their people ahead of their own self-interests may peace prevail in South Sudan. In the meantime, those that profit from the war should not be able to do so with impunity, even if a peace agreement is signed.

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For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

​Enough Project Urges Obama to Create Cost for Greed Fueling War in South Sudan

Date: 
Jul 23, 2015

 

As the US President Lauds African Progress, Peace Efforts in Newest Nation
Undermined by Grand Corruption; Brief Offers 7 Steps to Bolster Peace Efforts

July 23, 2015 -- In advance of President Obama’s arrival this Friday in Nairobi and the start of an historic set of diplomatic meetings and events in East Africa, the Enough Project today published a policy brief addressing one of the region’s most urgent crises, the civil war in South Sudan. "Creating a Cost for Those Destroying South Sudan" by the Enough Project’s Founding Director John Prendergast and Policy Analyst Akshaya Kumar, offers analysis and recommendations to tackle the connection between grand corruption and the financing of an escalating armed conflict.

The newest country in the world, one ushered in with strong US support, South Sudan is embroiled in a war pitting those loyal to South Sudan President Salva Kiir and a rebellion led by his former Vice President Riek Machar. Regional peace talks based in Addis Ababa, a scheduled destination on Obama’s current trip, have floundered, leaving millions caught in a conflict that has featured mass killings, child soldiers, rape, and the burning of villages.

Akshaya Kumar, Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “South Sudan is now under the grip of two competing groups of kleptocrats who have shown a repugnant disregard for human suffering in their quest to enrich themselves, but it does not need to stay that way. Decisive sanctions enforcement by the international community, asset recovery efforts, and a hybrid court with purview over economic crimes can break these illicit networks and make way for peace.”     

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: "To support mediation efforts, much more work is needed to alter the calculations of the warring parties from pursuing armed violence to pursuing peace. The leaders of the two sides fight on in the belief that there will be no personal consequence, and outside actors collaborate in the destruction of this embryonic state through their military support and collusion in vast corruption, both past and present. Without a wider strategy of financial pressures and a push to secure regional and broader international cooperation for that approach, it will be difficult to address the deep political divisions fueled by a violent struggle for the spoils of a corrupt state. President Obama’s trip offers an opportunity to reorient U.S. government policies to move beyond threats and focus on a much more robust strategy of disrupting and ultimately dismantling the network that is funding, fueling, and profiting from the conflict in South Sudan.”

Justine Fleischner, Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “One of the most important steps President Obama can take while he is here in the region is to secure a commitment from President Kenyatta and Prime Minister Hailemariam that they are willing to enforce high-level targeted sanctions against those most responsible for attacks against civilians. He should also secure their commitment to cooperate with any subsequent investigations to return the proceeds of corruption back to the people of South Sudan.”

Enough’s South Sudan Brief urges that while in Kenya and Ethiopia, President Obama should focus support for seven critical steps to bolster peace efforts:

  1. Asset Freezes, Travel Bans, and an Arms Embargo: Urge President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to work with the United States in support of a multilateral arms embargo and the imposition of an escalating set of high-level sanctions designations against politically influential individuals and their enablers. Also, encourage the Kenyan and Ethiopian leaders to enforce the existing sanctions designations by freezing the assets and restricting the travel of the six military commanders who are already designated by the U.N. Security Council.  Make it clear that if the presence of any of the designated individuals is required for the peace process, the government of Ethiopia can request a case-by-case exemption from the U.N. Sanctions Committee as provided under U.N. Security Council Resolution 2206.  This push in the region should be coupled with a directive to the Departments of State and Treasury as well as to other relevant agencies to intensify their efforts to collect information and develop dossiers on potential additional targets for sanctions. These targets may include South Sudan’s high-level political leaders and their financial backers, in the region and beyond. This strategy could lay the foundation for a rapidly escalating targeted sanctions regime that begins to finally create a cost for those making the decisions to continue the war or fund and profit from it.
  2. Kleptocracy Asset Recovery and Return: Urge Kenya and Ethiopia to contribute actively to a transnational effort to trace, seize, freeze, and return the proceeds of corruption to the people of South Sudan by sharing intelligence through the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network of Eastern Africa. At the same time, prioritize U.S. inter-agency support to the Department of Justice’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative as it seeks to identify actionable cases of grand corruption with a strong connection to the United States. Work with the U.K.’s Proceeds of International Corruption Unit and with Europol, Canada, and Australia to pursue this agenda internationally.
  3. Capacity Building for U.N. Sanctions Enforcement: Offer to expand the U.S. government’s existing effort to build the technical capacity of East African financial institutions beyond the Treasury Department’s current emphasis on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing support to also include capacity-building assistance for more effective U.N. sanctions enforcement. Prioritize the programs that enhance the operational capacity of regional financial intelligence units in Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia to coordinate asset freezes. Urge President Kenyatta and Prime Minister Hailemariam to submit member state reports on Kenyan and Ethiopian efforts to enforce U.N. Security Council Resolution 2206.  These reports should include a discussion of Kenyan and Ethiopian domestic sanctions implementation frameworks.
  4. Beneficial Ownership Transparency: Ask Kenya, Ethiopia, and other African states to adopt regulatory reforms to increase transparency about the beneficial owners of corporate assets and trusts. Connect the proliferation of shell companies and secrecy jurisdictions in Africa with the broad problem the continent faces with illicit financial flows  and the recent U.N. decision to redouble efforts to combat these practices  At the same time, urge the U.S. Department of Treasury to incorporate expanded control requirements and a look-back provision into the U.S. government’s proposed beneficial ownership rule,  set to be released in August.
  5. Connecting Regional Infrastructure Projects to Peace: Make clear that the U.S. government is ready to work with Chinese President Xi Jinping to lead a comprehensive review of bilateral and multilateral funds earmarked for regional infrastructure projects in East Africa to assess the viability of such investments given the conflict in South Sudan. Regional sanctions enforcement should be made a criteria in an overall risk mitigation strategy governing the disbursement of donor funds, foreign investment, and technical assistance to implement these important infrastructure development projects.
  6. Accountability for Pillage and Grand Corruption: Build on the U.S. government’s May 2015 pledge of $5 million for justice and accountability in South Sudan and on both warring parties’ February 2015 commitment to a hybrid court by urging the immediate creation of a hybrid court for South Sudan with an investigative wing to begin work even before the conflict ends. The court should have jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, human rights abuses, economic crimes—including pillage, as a war crime—and grand corruption. While in the region, also amplify the U.S. government’s push for the African Union Peace and Security Council to consider and release the AU Commission of Inquiry’s report on South Sudan.
  7. Empowering Anti-Corruption Civil Society Actors: Meet with civil society, especially anti-corruption campaigners from Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. In the longer term, the United States should prioritize funding to civil society groups in South Sudan that are actively engaged in anti-corruption campaigns to improve transparency and accountability in government spending. In South Sudan, which recently ratified the U.N. Convention Against Corruption, laws already criminalize corruption and require elected officials to disclose their assets and corporate interest.  South Sudanese civil society groups can advocate that these provisions be enforced.

Link to the full Policy Brief: http://eno.ug/1eer9Kv

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606 gh@enoughproject.org

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

New Report Examines Obama Policy Legacy in Africa’s Deadliest Conflicts

Date: 
Jul 22, 2015

 

As President Heads to Kenya and Ethiopia, Report Details Nexus of War and Grand Corruption

July 22, 2015 -- In advance of President Obama’s historic trip tomorrow to Kenya and Ethiopia, a report published today by the Enough Project analyzes the president’s policy legacy in key conflict-affected areas in Africa.

The new report, “President Obama in Africa: Countering Violent Kleptocracies Is a Prerequisite for Peace,” details opportunities to address key issues relating to conflict, and the effectiveness of the Obama administration’s initiatives on peace and security, democratic governance, and economic growth in Africa.

The president’s visit will bring him into the heart of a region that has been, over the last two decades, the site of the world’s deadliest conflicts.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: "For President Obama to ensure that his signature efforts have positive impact in regions of Africa that have been torn apart by deadly conflict, a dedicated focus for the last 18 months of his administration is required on the core source of instability and autocracy in these countries, the violent kleptocracies, or highly corrupt systems that are closely linked to conflict."

Akshaya Kumar, Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “When confronted with grotesque human rights abuses like the ones taking place in the context of Africa's deadliest wars, we often speak of the international community's moral obligation to help or a broad responsibility to protect those at risk. But, the cold hard truth is that there are people who profit from the war economies and the grand corruption that enables these wars to persist. Businessmen, banks, and consumers in countries like the United States, India and China bear another type of responsibility too: that of complicity.”

Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “President Obama has had some important successes in dealing with conflict in Africa, for example in helping dramatically reduce the killings of Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. But there is still not enough focus on holding the financiers and perpetrators of mass atrocities accountable. The President should help the Treasury and Justice Departments devote more resources to African conflicts to investigate, sanction, and prosecute those most responsible for war crimes in Africa.”

The report highlights specific challenges and opportunities in South Sudan, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic, and offers recommendations to address and help to dismantle the financing and profiteering in Africa’s deadliest conflicts:

  1. Targeted sanctions: The United States, the U.N. Security Council, the African Union, and the European Union should prioritize targeted sanctions against individuals, companies, and others that facilitate grand corruption, participate in illicit natural resource trade (including conflict gold), and commit atrocities in conflicts in Africa. Furthermore, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct more resources toward African sanctions enforcement investigations in the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
  2. Prosecutions: The U.S. Office of Global Criminal Justice should encourage and support efforts to investigate and prosecute the war crime of pillage—theft in the time of war, including large-scale theft of natural resources and wildlife trafficking. The International Criminal Court (ICC), hybrid courts, and national prosecutors could more effectively pursue these pillage investigations and prosecutions with U.S. support.
  3. Asset recovery and return: The U.S. Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section (AFMLS), in leading the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, should investigate and locate the proceeds of grand corruption in conflict countries.

 

Today, the Enough Project also joined a diverse community of 19 advocacy, faith and human rights organizations issuing an open letter to President Obama. The letter urges the president, as he embarks on his trip to Kenya and Ethiopia, to press for a solution to the ongoing crisis in South Sudan. The letter stresses the need for greater regional cooperation to pressure the warring parties to make necessary concessions for a sustainable peace in South Sudan, including accountability for economic and atrocity crimes.

Link to the full report: http://eno.ug/1Okx9OO

Link to the open letter: http://eno.ug/1ef5eD1

For more background, read the new op-ed by John Prendergast in TIME Magazine: "President Obama Must Help Tackle Africa's Hijacked States."

For media inquiries or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Greg Hittelman +1 310-717-0606 gh@enoughproject.org

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities.   Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns.  Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

Breaking: ICC “Terminator” Trial to Scene of the Crime?

Date: 
Mar 19, 2015

Enough Calls “Historic” Recommendation to Launch Ntaganda War Crimes Case in D.R.Congo

March 19, 2015 --- Today, judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) made an historic recommendation to start the war crimes trial of Bosco Ntaganda in the Democratic Republic of Congo. If approved, this would be the first ICC trial to start outside the court’s headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands.

The former militia leader Ntaganda, known by the moniker “The Terminator,” is charged with crimes including murder, rape, and the use of child soldiers. His trial is scheduled to begin June 2015.

The Enough Project can offer Congo Policy Analyst and international law expert Holly Dranginis for interviews, analysis, and background on the ICC case.

Holly Dranginis, Enough Project Policy Analyst said: "Today, the ICC has said loudly and clearly, we have a responsibility to bring our work closer to victims. The Chambers' recommendation is a welcome, and potentially historic, development. For the first time, the ICC would take its proceedings straight to the scene of the crimes. Holding an ICC trial in Bunia, in the heart of the affected communities, will offer greater access for victims to the justice process as it unfolds, and expose judges and attorneys to the very environment where the acts of brutality occurred. Too often war crimes victims are excluded from the trials that impact them because of distance, logistical challenges, resource restraints, or apathy on the part of courts. There are challenges associated with this proposal that must be handled carefully, but overall this is a step forward for international justice.”

Dranginis added: “The ICC decision also emphasized the need for more robust outreach, establishing video and radio broadcasts of the trial. All this hearkens back to the days of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, when families would watch on their televisions as victims and perpetrators testified about violence that left scars and shaped the trajectory of their country. This new recommendation by the ICC chambers signals a move toward a more inclusive court, which will mean a more effective court."

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, +1 310-717-0606, gh@enoughproject.org

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About the Enough Project:

For media use, short version: "The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group."

The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress aiming to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, Central African Republic, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change.

To learn more: www.enoughproject.org.

Enough Project Comments on One-Year Anniversary of the Conflict in South Sudan

Date: 
Dec 12, 2014

MEDIA ADVISORY – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Greg Hittelman, +1 310 717-0606, gh@enoughproject.org

December 14, 12014 — This Monday, December 15, marks the one-year anniversary of the conflict in South Sudan. Experts and spokespersons at Enough Project spoke out on this occasion, and are available for further commentary and analysis this week.

John Prendergast, Enough Project Founding Director, said: "More than a quarter of this new country's lifespan has been spent engulfed in a meaningless war driven by insatiable greed and a thirst for power.  As in so many wars over the last century, a relatively few senior opposition and government officials have gotten rich while the vast majority of citizens are displaced or more deeply impoverished than they were before independence.  The only way this cycle of corruption, conflict and impunity is stopped is if there is a severe consequence for those that undermine the peace process, orchestrate human rights abuses, and/or engage in grand corruption."

Akshaya Kumar, Enough Project policy analyst on Sudan and South Sudan, said: “Today, as South Sudan's war enters its second year, attention will rightly focus on the role of its leaders in driving their country into the abyss. But, this anniversary also presents an opportunity for consumers in India and China to consider their stake in this war, which is being fueled - in part -by their imports of oil from the country's hotly contested battle grounds.

Justine Fleischner, Enough Project policy analyst on Sudan and South Sudan, said: “This is a heartbreaking milestone. In one year, South Sudan has gone from one of Africa's great hopes to one of its gutting horror stories. The tragedy feels almost Shakespearean, particularly in the vanity and foolishness of the leaders to blame. But hope still beats in the hearts of South Sudan's people, and if the world will stand with them and sanction their leaders, we can prevent this horror story from turning two.”

South Sudan's civil war, which broke out in December 2013, has exacted a terrible toll on its civilian population, has its origins in a power struggle between factions aligned with President Salva Kiir and those who joined former Vice President Riek Machar. Despite repeated pledges to put down their weapons, both sides have demonstrated a commitment to a military “solution” instead of a negotiated settlement.

For more analysis, read the Enough Project’s 2014 report, “Spoils of War, Spoilers of Peace: Changing the Calculus of South Sudan’s Deadly Conflict”: www.enoughproject.org/reports/spoils-war-spoilers-peace

For media inquiries and to arrange an interview with the report author, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717-0606, gh@enoughproject.org

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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress aiming to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, Central African Republic, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more: www.enoughproject.org.

Warner Bros “Good Lie” Opens Nationwide Friday: Witherspoon Film Depicts Courageous, Harrowing Lost Boys Journey: But Is Same Story Repeating for South Sudan’s Kids Today?

Date: 
Oct 1, 2014

MEDIA ADVISORY – Enough Project
Contact: Greg Hittelman, +1 310 717-0606, gh@enoughproject.org

Warner Bros “Good Lie” Opens Nationwide Friday:

Witherspoon Film Depicts Courageous, Harrowing Lost Boys Journey: But Is Same Story Repeating for South Sudan’s Kids Today?

October 1, 2014 --- Warner Brothers’ new motion picture “THE GOOD LIE,” starring Reese Witherspoon, opens this Friday, October 3, to select theaters nationwide. The film, already garnering critical acclaim – and a 10 minute standing ovation at the Toronto Film Festival – depicts the courageous, terrifying journey of the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan, children who trekked on foot hundreds of miles to escape a war in Sudan that ended in 2005.

But that harrowing experience is being reenacted again, as thousands of children in South Sudan today are victims caught in a new civil war. For journalists reviewing or reporting on this film, the Enough Project can offer commentary and key facts making the connection to the current crisis in South Sudan.

HISTORY NEVER TO BE REPEATED, REPEATING TODAY:

John Prendergast, founding director of the Enough Project, who has a role in the film along with Witherspoon and actual Lost Boys and Girls, said: “‘The Good Lie’ should have been a slice of history, never to be repeated. But a new war, rising from the embers of the one that brought the Lost Boys and Girls to the United States, has again engulfed South Sudan. A whole new generation of lost children is being created, an outcome which still can be prevented if the current war can be brought to a quick conclusion.”

“’The Good Lie’ is seeded with hope, hope that has been temporarily hijacked by the corruption-fueled elites now fighting this unnecessary war,” said Prendergast, “Hope for peace remains alive, but those self-serving leaders must be motivated by tough international action, including personal property and assets seizure, to support a peace agreement that allows the people of South Sudan to, together, write the next chapter of their history.”

KEY FACTS:

  • As of September 2014, 2.2 million people are currently facing emergency food insecurity, and that number is likely to rise to 2.5 million by March 2015.
  • 1.35 million people have been displaced from their homes, and 453,600 have fled to neighboring countries.
  • The UN estimates 9,000 child soldiers have been brought into the conflict.
  • An estimated 100,000 civilians are seeking protection on United Nations bases in South Sudan.
  • There have been over a dozen violations of the cessation of hostilities agreement between government and rebel forces.
  • In June 2014, Doctors Without Borders reported that in one camp where over 47,000 are seeking protection, 3 children under 5 die every day.

 

BACKGROUND:

South Sudan's civil war, which has exacted a terrible toll on its civilian population, has its origins in a power struggle between factions aligned with President Salva Kiir and those who have joined former Vice President Riek Machar. Despite repeated pledges to put down their weapons, both sides have demonstrated a clear commitment to a military “solution” instead of a negotiated settlement.

For more detail, read the new Enough Project Report “Spoils of War, Spoilers of Peace.”

For media inquiries or to arrange an interview with an Enough Project spokesperson, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717-0606, gh@enoughproject.org

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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, Central African Republic, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more: www.enoughproject.org.

Enough Project Reactions to Appointment of New UN Special Envoy on Congo

Date: 
Jul 18, 2014

The United Nations Secretary-General announced yesterday that the new UN Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region will be senior Algerian diplomat Said Djinnit, replacing Mary Robinson. His mandate is focused on peace and security in the D.R. Congo and the region. The Enough Project warmly welcomes Ambassador Djinnit in his new appointment.

Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst Sasha Lezhnev said: "Ambassador Said Djinnit can be a boon to peace in eastern Congo, as his senior-level negotiating experience in Africa on security issues has earned him the respect of regional leaders, and as he will be based full-time in the region. Ambassador Djinnit should first focus on firm 3-month benchmarks for progress on the disarmament of the deadly FDLR rebel group, which remains a major obstacle to regional peace."

Enough Project Founding Director John Prendergast said: "The appointment of Ambassador Djinnit is an excellent choice given his strong regional background and the wide respect he enjoys from African leaders. Going forward, Ambassador Djinnit should work closely with Angolan President Dos Santos to broaden the agenda of the regional peace process to include economic cooperation and war crimes accountability. In addition, he should establish a civil society feedback mechanism to incorporate their input, including women's voices, into the heads-of-state peace process."

Enough Project Policy Associate Holly Dranginis said: "Mary Robinson made it a priority to listen to women in the Great Lakes, support them, and understand their ideas and demands in the context of this region's peace process. Special Envoy Djinnit should take care to carry on that work and ensure that momentum for women's empowerment and inclusion in the region is not lost in this transition."

Enough Project Field Researcher Fidel Bafilemba said: "The FDLR is the main bottleneck for peace restoration in eastern Congo and the region at large. The FDLR cannot be given a leash to reorganize, and must be treated with strong measures as was the M23, otherwise the people of eastern Congo will continue to bear the brunt of the FDLR's brutality. Definitively resolving the FDLR is the greatest difference Said Djinnit can make to the Great Lakes crisis."

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:

Greg Hittelman, Communications Director, +1 310-717-0606, gh@enoughproject

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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more: www.enoughproject.org.

Sudan Unleashes a War Criminal Army

Date: 
Jun 26, 2014

Contact: Christina DiPasquale, +1 202-716-1953, Christina@fitzgibbonmedia.com

Enough Project & Satellite Sentinel Project report:

Sudan Unleashes a War Criminal Army

Regime Gives Janjaweed Genocidaires New Name, Weapons, and a License to Kill

June 26, 2014 (Washington, DC) -- One decade after Darfur’s Janjaweed militiamen earned global infamy as “devils on horseback,” Sudan is experiencing a wave of atrocities at the hands of their new incarnation as an official military entity, the “Rapid Support Forces” (RSF). An original report published today by the Enough Project and the Satellite Sentinel Project tracks the RSF in a cross-country campaign of civilian targeting, and presents the case for the individual criminal responsibility of high-level Sudanese government officials for both the war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by the RSF.

The report, “Janjaweed Reincarnate: Sudan’s New Army of War Criminals”—the product of nine months of research by co-authors Akshaya Kumar and Omer Ismail—tracks the RSF across Sudan, connects the regime’s own public statements with evidence from affected communities, and identifies an array of crimes from grave human rights abuses and mass atrocities to cross-border elephant poaching.

Click here for a preview of the report from the New York Times, including a response from the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, DC.

"In Sudan today, the genocidaires are winning,” says Akshaya Kumar, report co-author and Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst at the Enough Project. “A decade ago, Janjaweed fighters received international condemnation for their brutality in Darfur. While the world's attention has drifted, these men are still at large and committing human rights abuses. Now, as Sudan's Rapid Support Forces, they are heavily armed, in uniform, flying the national flag, and with an official license to kill.”

"Darfuris aren't the only victims now. Our research shows that these Rapid Support Forces, under command and control of the government, have inflicted brutal violence on civilians in South Kordofan, North Kordofan, even in Sudan's capital city Khartoum,” said Omer Ismail, co-author and Enough Project Senior Advisor. “As security service officers they boast full immunity. The RSF are indisputably an arm of this government and so senior government officials, including President Bashir, should bear responsibility for their actions."

"Our research fuses nine months of satellite imagery with extensive research and interviews to paint a vivid portrait of an increasingly brazen, resurgent and reinforced Janjaweed force,” said John Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project. “What we see is a new kind of international and regional security threat, a military force that not only regularly commits atrocities and abuses against the citizenry, but up to their necks in transnational criminal activity, including cross-border human rights abuses, elephant poaching, and resource exploitation.”

“Sudan's government are so confident they will get away with this new campaign that they're not even bothering to hide their connections to these fighters,” added Kumar. “In fact, the Sudanese government proclaims their connection to this army of war criminals.”

Link to download the new report “Janjaweed Reincarnate”: http://eno.ug/Jreport

For media inquiries or to schedule an interview with the report authors, please contact Christina DiPasquale at +1 202-716-1953 or Christina@fitzgibbonmedia.com.

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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more: www.enoughproject.org.

The Satellite Sentinel Project, co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, is a partnership between the Enough Project and Not On Our Watch. SSP uses satellite imagery and forensic investigation to assess the human security situation, and detect, deter and document war crimes and crimes against humanity. SSP recently announced an expansion of its work to focus on the economic drivers of mass atrocities and human rights abuses, and to encompass some of the world's most violent regions of conflict, including Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic. For more information on the Satellite Sentinel Project, please visit www.satsentinel.org.

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